Thursday, February 08, 2007
As the clips continue their nightmare of a 7 game road trip (so far 1-3, with the only dub coming against the hapless 16 game losing streak Celtics), their next stop on the shame tour lands in Philadelphia, just a month ago a laughingstock but suddenly playing inspired ball led by Andre Iguodala (right, below) who has turned into a bonafide stud after the phillie hierarchy finally jetissoned Iverson (still an amazing player but his tenure in la villa brotherly love was finale) and the pouting, whining, useless Chris Webber (one of the biggest babies in pro sports, all the way back to Michigan, his early days with the warriors, and still making hay off the couple of insane years he had with sacto).
Anyway, the point behind all the above meandering blah blah is that Phillie is no joke all of a sudden, and at this moment, the clippers kind of are. They lost to the Knicks at MSG in what should have been a win if not for a pathetic 3rd quarter breakdown (11 points in the whole quarter), they got BLOWN OUT at Cleveland last nite on an eve when Lebron James only scored 11 points (there’s that number again, wow), and were decimated (yes divided into 10 sad and lonely parts) a few days back in Toronto (who you’ve gotta see as a sleeper to win the East, so that loss I won’t whine about, and I wouldn’t be whining about the Cavs loss if LA had at least shown SOME semblance of pride slash backbone.)
Compounding all this abysmal failure is that Mike Dunleavy is continuing his misguided and thoroughly confusing feud with Corey Maggette, for reasons unbeknownst to all except the most keen and insightful of clinical psychologists. Maggs played 17 minutes against the Knicks (less than Doug Christie! Yes, THAT Doug Christie) and he didn’t play AT ALL last nite against the Cavs (the official reasoning being he had “the flu” but that’s a mighty strange coincidence, coming a day after Maggs ripping coach MD senior to the press.)
We are in a strange world indeed when Donald Sterling, the clips maverick eccentric borderline insane owner is the voice of reason. A man whose 180 has been to less of a degree over the last few years to possibly only George Foreman (from the silent brooding death machine of thrilla manila 70’s to the smiling affable grill shiller of now), Sterling sat down dunleavy, maggs, and elgin and basically gave maggs a vote of confidence and told them to figure this shit out, because unless it was for the second coming of Jordan, Bird, or Magic (or Loy Vaught, natch) that Maggs was NOT to be traded and should be utilized to, wow, get this, win games! What a concept!
Mike Dunleavy Signore, maybe you know something I don’t. Probably, actually, quite a few things, but one thing I do know, is that, even in the world of professional sports (maybe, actually, especially) sometimes your gargantuan ego has to sublimated for the good of the team. Sometimes, in the route of “making a point” you destroy the whole fabric of that for which you were trying to create a stronger weave. Sometimes by forcing a square peg into a round hole over and over again, you obliterate not only the peg, but the whole ball of wax board altogether.
Otherwise pondering the Clips' eastern swing, I was taking a look at the standings, and, for all the talk of how much the east sucks and the west is “da best” (despite the east winning the whole enchilada in the “if your pinkie touches d-wades shoulder in the slightest tether of a fashion it’s a foul brigade” nba finals of yesteryore) if you take a look, Miami (the same) has about the same record as the clips right now, a game under 500. Miami is currently in the 8 seed spot. The clips are currently in the 7 seed spot (basically tied with Denver, the 8), and with seemingly crappy teams like Phillie and the Knicks looking better (although still crappy), is there really a big difference between borderline playoff teams in the east and the west? I don’t really think so. Although, granted, I think there is a difference between the top tier west teams (Phoenix & Dallas, and maybe San Antonio) and the top tier East (Detroit and, I guess, Chicago & Washington? Yeah, big drop off), BUT, hey, that’s what everyone thought last year, and, voila, as mentioned, Heat in 6, so, there ya go? My point? Eh, you figure it out. Salud.
Just one more (maybe 2, 3) little post script(s), if you'll humor me: I know, and have dealt with, economics being what they are in clipperland, that Dunleavy is here to stay, in light of his new contract, and, sigh, him and maggette, pathetic & schoolyard as it is, and dunleavy should man up and just DEAL with it, but, he’s NOT, so maybe we have to trade maggs, which is heartbreaking, because we are NOT going to get value for him, but, let’s get something for him, if it’s the trainwreck it appears. So there’s that. And I think (as I’ve read elsewhere) that, yes, it is time to bring Kaman in off the bench for a few games. I think his potential is through the roof, but right now he’s playing with his head firmly planted up his ass.
On a happy note, Livingston appears to be playing much better, flexing a bit more authority, which, in the long run, may be the most important possible line item for this organization. Lets hope that’s the start of a trend and not a spotted owl on wilshire boulevard sighting.
update, 2/9: I dunno, I read this post over again, and I think I was a little hard on Chris Webber, especially in light of the quality burn he's giving the Pistons right now. His legs are gimpier than in his glory days, but he's still a pretty good scorer and he's always been a very good passer for a big man (so was Vlade Divac, that post tandem being a huge reason Sacto was so good). He was useless for Phillie, though, albeit by choice (a la Vince in Toronto a few years back), which actually makes it worse. and he's still a whiner, a great big whiner, and he should wear a diaper, and shake a rattle. and, uh, have a bonnet? ok, I'm done.